The online met the on-air Tuesday morning when the Morning Peak radio's Caroline Corley held her weekly coffee chat at Tarrytown's W@tercooler.
In the conference room of this coworking/community hub, "Grown and Flown" founders, wives, and moms of older kids ("because parenting never ends") Mary Dell Harrington and Lisa Heffernan were joined by several blogger friends from their 1-year-old website.
Another thing these women from all over Westchester share: Hackley. All have kids in or out of Tarrytown's private school; Suzy Akin and Sue Harmon—who lives in Pleasantville—are even teachers there.
Other guests in the room included W@tercooler member Bob Levine, who lately does music reviews on occasion for Patch, and Thom Ianniccari, fan of Corley, he said, who was interested in starting to blog.
Harrington attributed much of the success of their blogging venture, which grew from a writing group, not singularly to the writing but also to the photos of Tarrytown’s Theresa Kilman.
Grown and Flown appears on Patch, Huffington Post, More.com, Next Avenue (the new PBS digital magazine), and regularly on Lifetime Moms. Lifetime in particular, said Harrington, attributes part of the appeal of their blog posts to the good photography.
“Having real photography is a big hook," Harrington said.
Corley supplied the "Coffee with Caroline" blue mugs, coffee came care of Coffee Lab’s Mike Love, muffins from Bradley Bakery in Larchmont.
Grown and Flown are part of the BlogHer organization, a consortium of blogs that serves advertising to each site (and thus offers potential for actually earning a little money while they're at it).
But even when the women blog for free, as they do on Patch and the Huffington Post, Harrington said the promotion benefits them. “We are building a platform and making connections in the community.”
Community connections is what Jenifer Ross’s W@tercooler is all about.
Ianniccari walked away eager to start his own blogs on any number of subjects he’s well-versed in: his Justin Veatch fund which gets teens on stage playing music and holds summer workshops for kids in Pleasantville; his insurance background; or even the dating scene for older people.
“Writing is just part of it,” advised Harrington. “The other part is getting the blog out there. Writing without promoting it is like sitting in an empty restaurant with the lights out.”
Being mentioned on the radio always helps. The Peak's Corley said she gets many emails from listeners requesting she join them for her weekly coffee visits around the region. The Peak (WXPK/107.1) is headquartered in White Plains. She’s gone to Fairfield, NJ, Ridgefield, CT, Huntington, LI.
“If you can hear us, we’ll visit you,” she said.
Corley said she’s been in the radio business for 30 years but it took a recent drive into the city with her 80-something father for him to finally offer her a short line of praise on her career choice.
A hard-earned moment of that validation we all seek.
“Blog that story!” Harrington said.
Hear more at 1071ThePeak.com.